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    Top 15 Colleges for B Students in 2024

    By Cece Gilmore

    Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: April 15th, 2024
    Top 15 Colleges for B Students in 2024

    Are you a “B” student who wonders about what colleges you can get into? We have good news for you! Having a “B” average will not prevent you from attending a solid school that fits your unique self. In the guide below, we discuss how grades factor into college admissions and offer some tips to improve your admission chances. We also compiled a sampling of colleges that welcome “B” students. Let’s get started!

    First, what is a “B” student?

    For most people, having a “B” average means that they have a 3.0 GPA. Whether a student is a true “B” average depends on a number of factors, including how the GPA was calculated (weighted or unweighted?). Make sure that you fully understand what your GPA is, exactly how your school calculates it, and why it matters. Our Scholarships360 GPA guide is a great place to start. 

    Related: Do colleges use weighted or unweighted GPAs?

    Do grades matter for college admissions? 

    Yes, grades matter. Grades are one of the most important factors that colleges consider when determining whether to admit students. In addition to grades, colleges want to see that students are challenging themselves by taking the most rigorous courses that they qualify for. In other words, it is valuable for colleges to see that you are earning good grades in challenging classes. 

    Therefore, if you have any extra time before college applications are due, spend that time trying to improve your grades as much as you can. However, if you truly are a B student working to your capacity, you can still attend a good college. Therefore, do not stress out over your grades, and instead, use that energy to put your best self forward! 

    Factors that influence admission for B students

    Colleges take many factors into consideration when considering whether or not to admit a student. Some of these factors include: 

    As you can see, there are ways to compensate for lower grades by overachieving in these other areas. Let’s take a look at doable ways to make the most of your application. 

    How a B student could improve their chances of admission

    Create a SAT or ACT study plan

    By improving your standardized test scores, you can increase your chances of being admitted to your college of choice. Give yourself plenty of time to study, take practice tests, and retake the SAT or ACT if need be. There are a number of free SAT tests, so no excuses! 

    Related: How to improve your SAT score in 6 steps

    Write a strong supplemental essay

    Supplemental essays can be the key to admission to a good college. Supplemental essays allow you to reveal things about yourself besides just numbers such as GPA or ACT scores. Rather, you can detail what makes you who you are and your aspirations for your future. 

    To write a stellar supplemental essay, make sure you do your research, do not repeat yourself, and don’t forget to look it over for silly mistakes. Remember, a good supplemental essay can be the difference between an acceptance or rejection letter, so try your best! 

    Related: Supplemental essays: how important are they? 

    Participate in extracurricular activities

    Participating in extracurricular activities will make your college application well-rounded. It demonstrates that you can manage your time participating in other activities while still being able to succeed academically.  

    Related: What are extracurricular activities and why do they matter?

    How this list of colleges for B students was created

    This following  accredited colleges and universities for B students were selected from our Scholarships360 top colleges for students guide. These colleges and universities were selected based on student outcomes including graduate income, student debt, and completion rates. Most of the colleges/universities on this list are below a 3.75 GPA. We included a variety of public and private schools of various sizes located across the United States. 

    Top 15 colleges for B students

    Auburn University

    Located in Auburn, Alabama, Auburn University is a large public school with nearly 25,000 undergraduate students. Business Administration, Management and Operations, General Biology, Finance and Financial Management Services, Marketing, and 

    Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences are the top five fields of undergraduate study. 

    • Average GPA: 3.9
    • Average SAT: N/A
    • Average ACT: N/A
    • Acceptance rate: 71%

    Arizona State University

    Arizona State University is a large public university located in Tempe, Arizona. The top undergraduate fields of study at ASU are Business, Marketing, Engineering, Psychology and Computer and Information Sciences. 

    • Average GPA: 3.54
    • Average SAT: N/A
    • Average ACT: N/A
    • Acceptance rate: 88%

    SUNY Maritime College

    SUNY Maritime College is a public 4-year university located in Throggs Neck, New York. The top undergraduate fields of study are Marine Transportation, Mechanical Engineering, Business and Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. 

    • Average GPA: 3.3
    • Average SAT: 1152
    • Average ACT: 26
    • Acceptance rate: 74%

    Indiana University, Bloomington

    The city of Bloomington, Indiana is home to Indiana University and its 32,600 undergraduate students. Business/Commerce, Public Administration, Computer and Information Sciences, Communication and Media Studies, and Health and Physical Education/Fitness are the top fields of undergraduate study at IUB. 

    • Average GPA: 3.73
    • Average SAT: 1238
    • Average ACT: 29
    • Acceptance rate: 85%.

    Also see: What looks good on a college application?

    Michigan State University

    Located in East Lansing, Michigan, MSU is a large public university with  38,000+ undergraduate students. The top fields of undergraduate study at Michigan State U are Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Business Administration, Management and Operations, Biology, Communication and Media Studies, and Health and Physical Education/Fitness. 

    • Average GPA: 3.75
    • Average SAT: 1170
    • Average ACT: 26
    • Acceptance rate: 83%

    University of Washington – Bothell Campus

    Located in Bothell, Washington, University of Washington is a public 4-year college. The top fields of undergraduate study are Computer Science, Business, Communications and Nursing. 

    • Average GPA: 3.4
    • Average SAT: N/A
    • Average ACT: N/A
    • Acceptance rate: 83%

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Named for its home city of Madison, Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public university with roughly 33,000 undergraduate students. The top five fields of undergraduate study at University of Wisconsin are Computer and Information Sciences, Economics, Psychology, Finance and Biology. 

    • Average GPA: 3.86
    • Average SAT: 1390
    • Average ACT: 29
    • Acceptance rate: 60%

    Purdue University- Main Campus

    Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University flagship campus has nearly 36,000 undergraduate students. At this public university, the top five fields of study at the undergraduate level are Business Administration, Management and Operations, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Business Administration, Management and Operations, and Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians. 

    • Average GPA: 3.69
    • Average SAT: 1275
    • Average ACT: 30
    • Acceptance rate: 69%

    Florida State University

    Located in sunny Tallahassee, Florida, Florida State University is a public university with roughly 33,000 undergraduates. The most popular fields of study are Psychology, Financial, Criminal Justice, Marketing and Political Science. 

    • Average GPA: 3.9
    • Average SAT: 1240
    • Average ACT: 28
    • Acceptance rate: 37%

    Rutgers University-New Brunswick

    New Brunswick, New Jersey is home to the Rutgers University flagship campus. The nearly 36,000 undergraduates lean towards Human Resources Management and Services, Psychology, Computer and Information Sciences, Biology, and Public Health as the top five fields of study. 

    • Average GPA: 3.73
    • Average SAT: 1325
    • Average ACT: 30
    • Acceptance rate: 68%

    Texas A & M University – College Station

    Located in the city of College Station, TX, Texas A&M University is a big school with roughly 55,000 undergraduates. The top fields of study include Engineering, Business, Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Biology. 

    • Average GPA: 3.68
    • Average SAT: 1223
    • Average ACT: 28
    • Acceptance rate: 64%

    University of Arkansas

    Nearly 25,000 undergraduates attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR.  The top five fields of undergraduate study at the University of Arkansas are Business Management, Engineering, Communication, Journalism and Agriculture. 

    • Average GPA: 3.72
    • Average SAT: N/A
    • Average ACT: 25
    • Acceptance rate: 83%

    University of Delaware

    Located in Newark, DE the University of Delaware is home to around 18,000 undergraduate students. The top fields of study at the University of Delaware include Business, Psychology, Engineering, Education and Kinesiology. 

    • Average GPA: 3.77
    • Average SAT: 1227
    • Average ACT: 29
    • Acceptance rate: 72%

    University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

    Champaign, IL is home to the University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign, a public institution with an enrollment of roughly 33,000 undergraduate students. The most popular fields of undergraduate study include Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Economics and Psychology. 

    • Average GPA: 3.83
    • Average SAT: 1393
    • Average ACT: 32
    • Acceptance rate: 60%

    University of Maryland- College Park

    College Park, MD is home to the University of Maryland. The nearly 30,000 undergraduates’ most popular fields of study are Psychology, Computer and Information Sciences, Marketing, Biology and Communications. 

    • Average GPA: 3.9
    • Average SAT: N/A
    • Average ACT: 32
    • Acceptance rate: 52%

    Safety, match, and reach schools for B students

    Our list shares a sampling of schools in the mid to upper “B” range. The college admissions process might result in a B student considering certain schools as either safety, match, or reach schools. Make sure that you conduct your own research to find the best range of schools for your particular grades and needs. 

    Next steps for students

    Once you determine that a particular “B” friendly school might be a good fit for you, try scheduling a tour to get the full experience of the campus and amenities the school offers. If you can’t make an in-person visit, try taking one of the virtual tours that most schools now offer!

    Remember, colleges consider many factors when deciding who they should admit or reject. There are many more colleges for B students out there than meet the eye! Therefore, work on strengthening all aspects of your application in order to improve your chances of admission. We encourage you to look beyond this list in order to discover all of the colleges that you can attend as a B student!

    Also see: An insider’s guide into what goes on in a college admissions office

    Frequently asked questions about colleges for B students

    Can B students get scholarships?

    Yes! When it comes to applying for scholarships, there are plenty of opportunities for B students. It’s true that purely GPA based scholarships might be more competitive to earn for B students, However, scholarships for the arts, for a particular major/interest, or for certain demographics with financial need are out there just waiting for your application!

    Can high test scores make up for grades?

    The answer depends on the college or university one is applying to. Large public schools are typically more “numbers driven” in regard to admissions. Therefore, if you can increase your standardized test scores (and maybe do a little explaining about your grades), your chances of being admitted to your college of choice will most likely increase. For smaller schools with a more holistic approach to admissions, it depends entirely on the school.

    Do B students qualify for FAFSA aid?

    The answer is an unequivocal yes! In short, all college bound high school students are eligible to apply for FAFSA aid. The FAFSA does require that students maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. once they are enrolled in college.

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